The theme this week (I just decided right now) on TDIT is looking back to the past, specifically the '70's. That great decade that produced everything from glam, disco, punk and what we refer to as "classic rock". My last post was a sample of some late 70's punk, today we go back 40 years to 1970. Wow, it's hard to believe the 70's was so long ago, I guess I spent much of my "formal" years in that decade and these are the years when I was first introduced to music.
After Alex Chilton left the Boxtops, he recorded a set of studio tracks in Memphis with the intention of shopping them around to labels for a solo release. This record deal didn't materialize and these tracks sat on the shelf while Chilton formed Big Star with Chris Bell. Just think, if Chilton did release these songs in 1970 to launch a solo career, Big Star would never have happened. Anyways, most these songs sat unreleased, except for bootlegs and some tracks that appeared on an album, Alex Chilton's Lost Decade in 1985, until Terry Manning the album's producer rediscovered the master tapes. The resulting album, 1970, is seemingly the missing link between The Boxtops and Big Star with tracks that sound reminiscently like both bands and like many of Chilton's solo records it's an uneven, inconsistent set of music. Some highlights included the beautiful, Everyday As We Grow Closer, that could easily have been fit into Big Star's first two records and covers of Sugar, Sugar and Jumping Jack Flash that are both loose and sloppy, but are fun and tongue 'n' cheek. An interesting collection of songs that gives insight into Chilton's early work and it's a must for any Big Star fans.
1. Come On Honey 2. I Can Dig It 3. Just To See You 4. Free Again 5. Something Deep Inside 6. All I Really Want Is Money 7. I Wish I Could Meet Elvis 8. The Happy Song 9. Every Day As We Grow Closer 10. The EMI Song (Smile For Me) 11. Jumpin' Jack Flash 12. Funky National 13. Sugar Sugar/I Got The Feelin'
Even though Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers were a legendary band with many recordings available, the band only recorded one proper studio record. This album, L.A.M.F. (Like A Mother Fucker) was notorious not for it's showcase of the Heartbreaker's classic songs, but instead for it's crappy sound and brutal mix. It's not to say the songs weren't any good, they are great, but instead the mix of the recording caused much grief as the recording went from studio to studio with each mix considered and rejected. Drummer Jerry Nolan threatened to quit the band if the album was released without "a proper mix". It was released anyways with it's inferior sound and Nolan quit during their UK tour.
I must confess I own the original vinyl LP (on the original cover it says, "The Heartbreakers", not "J.T. And the Heartbreakers") that I purchased in Vancouver, I think in 1986 and the first thing I noticed when I played the album was it's flat, muddy sound. The drums on some tracks sounded like Jerry was hitting a cardboard box and the separation of the mix was inconsistent and sloppy. At this time I already had a bunch of Heartbreakers recordings, Live At Max's Kansas City, D.T.K. Live At the Speakeasy and Live At the Lyceum Ballroom and it's pretty bad when the sound is superior on the live records over the studio record.
In 1982, when Track Records went out of business, the band's manager reacquired the band's recordings including the L.A.M.F. sessions and a remix of the tracks was released as, L.A.M.F. Revisited which was sounded somewhat better, but the reviews were mixed. In 1994, an exec from Jungle records reviewed all the mixes (there was 300+ mixes!) which was then narrowed down to a short-list of 50 to be re-reviewed by some friends and colleagues of Thunders. It was discovered that many of the early mixes were actually suited to the band's proto-punk sound and the "rockier and punchier versions" were reissued as yet another re-release known as, L.A.M.F.: The Lost '77 Mixes was released. This version included an extra disc of outtakes, demos and alternative mixes...confusing isn't it? In 2002, a remastered version of the same 2 disc set (plus a video of Chinese rocks) was available. The version I have is the 2 disc set and I must admit it does sound much better. The sound is fresh, the mix is nicely balanced (sounds nice with headphones!) and the songs are essential and classic Heartbreakers. If you're a Johnny Thunders fan you must have a listen!! If you are not familiar with Thunders and the Heartbreakers, this is a good place to start. Enjoy!! For a more detailed history of the L.A.M.F.
Last Saturday, tickets went on sale for Sarah Harmer's concert scheduled for January 22, 2011 at the Garrick. I asked a couple of friends if they were interested in going with me because I wanted to buy the tickets during the pre-sale on Thursday, but I have yet to hear back from either person, so I assume they don't really care. I even offered to buy their tickets for a X-mas gift, but still nothing. Oh well, the show isn't sold out yet, so I guess I'll wait and see before buying a ticket for myself. I've had some bad luck buying advanced tickets without finding someone to go with me, the Hatcher's show I paid for 2 tickets and went alone and that happened a few years ago with Dinosaur Jr. I guess what I need is a concert buddy since it's a lot more fun going with someone else, but if I'm recording the show it doesn't really matter if I go alone. But still, bar shows are slow to get the bands on stage and seem to drag on the evening to score more drink sales, so I hate killing time myself sipping on beers to keep myself occupied.
At this year's Winnipeg Folk Festival I only attended one day mainly because I wanted to see Sarah Harmer. This was my first time seeing Sarah and I must admit I wasn't really a big fan before her latest album. Over the past few years I have been slowly acquiring her music, both her solo albums and her Weeping Tile work. I think her latest album,Oh Little Fire(her first album in 5 years) is a fine pop/folk album full of catchy melodies and memorable songs, that is a serious contender for my favourite album of 2010. I was curious to hear this material live and her appearance on the small stage and mainstage impressed me enough want to see her again in a (indoor) theatre venue. I captured Sarah's performance on my digital recorder as well as my camera with some distant shots of Sarah and her band. I placed the recorder on the ground (standing up in my shoe) to avoid wind-noise and it has the usual crowd noise and chatter from the nearby tarps. I also recorded Sarah in a small stage performance with Gord Downie, Jim Bryson and the Weakerthans and though CBC promised they would air that concert, they have yet to do so. If anyone is interested I can post that show.
This show brought back some great memories from the summer while sitting in my living room watching the snow fall.
SARAH HARMER Winnipeg Folk Festival Mainstage Birds Hill Park July 11, 2010
01. Captive 02. Around The Corner 03. Careless 04. One Match 05. The Ring 06. Basement Apartment 07. Uniform Grey 08. The Thief 09. Pendulums 10. Silver Road 11. Late Bloomer 12. Escarpment Blues 13. Dandelions & Bullet Holes 14. Washington 15. The City
The last time I saw Jeffrey Hatcher perform was with his band, The Big Beat back in 1988 at the Hotel Fort Garry (in Winnipeg) in one of their ballrooms. I had seen the band many times downstairs in the bar, Broadways, so a concert in the big room was a step up. Around this time their album, Cross Our Hearts was receiving much attention and the band toured the country and rode the commercial success of the record, as Jeffrey Hatcher And The Big Beat created quite the buzz. A second album never happened, but Hatcher formed the Blue Shadows with Billy Cowsill and that band developed a devoted following before the band disbanded in 1996. Hatcher relocated to the west coast and has kept a low profile performing with Wendy Bird (who recorded an album of all Jeffrey Hatcher-penned tunes called, Natural Wonder) and a career in music therapy.
When I heard the Briggs-Hatcher band was playing a two night stand at the Pyramid, my first question was, is Jeffrey Hatcher part of this project? This was also an opportunity for the band to launch a CD of new material with original members from the early days when Hatcher and his brothers, Don and Paul as well as David Briggs performed as The Fuse, The Six and later, The Big Beat. The answer was yes, and I rushed off to buy my ticket for night #2 (I was committed to a Moose game for night #1), and I knew hearing the old songs again would bring back fond memories. When I saw the band in the early and mid-80's at socials and small clubs, they inspired me greatly and they were the first local Winnipeg band that I followed closely. Their sound recalled bands like Rockpile and Hatcher reminded me a little bit like Dave Edmunds. Their sound is roots rock, even a little rockabilly and they were a great dance band!
These reunion shows brought back a lot of sweet memories and I saw a lot of familiar faces. They can still draw people to the dance floor and the effortless magic is still there for Briggs and the Hatchers. The new material is good and it's apparent that Don Hatcher and David Briggs have taken a much more active role in the band. Even during the show, for many of the songs from Cross My Heart, Briggs took the lead vocals instead of Jeff, which seemed to me a little odd. Technically, Briggs played only a bit part on the album (keyboards on, In My Hand), though 4 of the songs were co-written by Briggs/J. Hatcher in 1983. My only disappointment was they didn't play a couple of my favourite songs, World Radio, Coming To Collect, but the band was impressively tight and they dug deep in their catalog to include a couple of songs from the Fuse days, along with some classic covers.
Set 1 01. Intro/ That's the Trouble (?) 02. Midnight Trains 03. Goodnight Mrs. Brown 04. Is Anybody Here * 05. Before The Fall 06. Natural Wonder * 07. Satin Sheets 08. The Simple Things 09. My Elizabeth 10. I Believe 11. Never Heard Of Midnight
Set 2 01. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love And Understanding 02. Deliver Me * 03. If I Were You (?) 04. Don't Expect A Reply (Runaway Train) 05. St. Enoch's Road 06. (?) 07. (Born To Be) Riding Only Down * 08. In My House Of Darkness 09. Sad Eyes 10. Writing On The Wall 11. Out Of Time 12. The Last Ones 13. Man Who Would Be King 14.encore crowd 15. band introductions 16. Route 66 [lead vocals- Colin Bryce] 17. encore crowd II 18. Coming On Strong 19. Slow Down 20. Twist And Shout [lead vocals- Luke Kennard]
(?)= unknown song or I'm not sure of the title (help?) * = lead vocals- Wendy Bird
This show was requested by Anna (thanks for the photo!) who emailed me to say she also attended this Liquor Giants show way back in 1998. There are better sounding recordings than this, but I've never come across a live recording by this highly underrated band, so if you're a fan this is well worth the download. Upon re-listening to this recording I did on my old Sony cassette recorder with a small stealth clip-on microphone, I can't help think how my recordings have changed over the years. Because it's on cassette, the tape hiss and slight tape drag is showing it's age, even though I doubt I played this tape more than a dozen times. This was my first taping recorder (1994>) and it saw a lot of great shows that I should revisit and transfer one of these days, but judging how long it took me to digitize this tape, it could be a while. Nowadays, with my digital recorder I can upload the wav file directly from the recorder to the computer. I also have to separate the tracks, but still it takes a fraction of the time to have a music file ready to burn or uploaded on Dime or the blog.
If you have any requests of bands that might have toured through Winnipeg in the 90's and 00's, please let me know, I could have recorded the show. I once started a live tape list of all the concert recording I have including my masters and shows I traded for, but I haven't updated it since 2004. Since then, I discovered torrents and live recording sites so my list will definitely be huge when I get around to updating it.
This Liquor Giants show was memorable because I remember it was a quiet weeknight (?) with the streets outside the Royal Albert Arms (now just called the Albert) wet with rain and there was a movie being shot in the area. I think Ward mentions James Brolin during the show and upon further investigation, I believe the movie was called, A Marriage Of Convenience, a crappy made for TV movie co-starring Jane Seymour. A clean sounding show, but it's really trebly and hissy, so turn up the bass. I don't have a setlist, so I don't want to guess the song titles, but a lot of the material they play is from their recent releases at the time, Every Other Day At A Time and their all-covers CD, Something Special For The Kids.
1 Boys Keep Swinging (Bowie) 2 Riverdale High 3 It's Raining Butterflies 4 Fake Love 5 I Know I'm Wrong 6 Dearest Darling 7 Multicoloured Hipshake 8 Cranium 9 Fire Brigade (Roy Wood, performed by the Move in 1965, I think) 10 Hideous Pleasure 11 Kentucky Lounge 12 Beautiful Flo 13 What's The New Motherfucker 14 Chocolate Clown 15 Bastanchury Park 16 Summer School 17 Mrs. Griffin 18 Now That 19 Hold Tight (originally by Dave Dee, Dozy, Mick and Tich, a UK band, probably from 1965)
I've had concerts and live concerts on my mind this week. Last week, a fellow member (that resides in the U.S.) from dimeadozen asked if I could record the Heart concert next February. I said I wasn't planning to buy a ticket, as I'm not a huge fan of Heart (though I have some of their early albums), but I would go if I had a ticket (I didn't have to pay for). The next day, he emailed me a ticket...Wow, cool! Any requests?? Then this week I had an email from someone (also from the States) that said she was at the Liquor Giants show from 1998 I talked about in a previous post and was interested in the recording I made...small world!! I have the concert on cassette, so yesterday I finally got around to digitizing it to the computer. I'll post it here soon, so stay tuned. The last concert I went to was on Friday, October 29th to see Stars at the Burton Cummings Theatre. This is the 4th time I've seen Stars, second this year and also the second time at the Burt. Interesting enough, I've gone with 4 different people (Sumi, Don, Cheryl and most recently, Alex). I'm a fan of Stars' records and songs, but seeing the band live is an experience in itself. They always put on a thoroughly entertaining show and you can tell they are truly a band that cares about their fans and are grateful for their following. It wouldn't be a Stars show of course without the roses, the band loves to throw roses into the crowd and this time they added a bubble machine to the mix. I'll tell you, the combination of the rich coloured lighting that flooded the stage, bubbles and backed with the dreamy pop styling of Stars, meant for an amazing visual spectacle. The band played a solid mix of new and older songs incorporating the Five Ghosts songs easily into the set. The flow of the show was much more smoother and more produced than the show back in June, obviously more confident with the newer material. There were several highlights; halfway through the set Amy and Evan performed an acoustic version of Ageless Beauty, that was gorgeous as well as the next song, when Torquil joined Amy for The Woods. And of course, the bubbles were awesome! A Good solid show! I was close up (row 4), so I took many photos and the sound wasn't too bad, though I was more to one side than I would have preferred for a more balanced sound. Enjoy!
STARS Burton Cummings Theatre Winnipeg, MB October 29, 2010
1. He Dreams He's Awake 2. Elevator Love Letter 3. The Passenger 4. How Much More 5. Wasted Daylight 6. Time Can Never Kill The True Heart 7. Bitches in Tokyo 8. Undertow 9. The Comeback 10. Ageless Beauty 11. The Woods 12. Dead Hearts 13. Take Me To The Riot 14. We Don't Want Your Body 15. Fixed 16. Set Yourself On Fire 17. Your Ex-Lover is Dead 18. One More Night 19. encore: 20. Celebration Guns 21. I Died So I Could Haunt You 22. Reunion 23. Midnight Coward 24. Soft Revolution 25. Changes
Continuing with my mini-Seattle series (except for Candy Hearts), we have the debut album from the early-90's band, Flop. I first heard about Flop in an issue of Rolling Stone with an article about "bands to watch" and it praised, Flop & The Fall Of The Mopsqueezer. This was around when grunge broke and the Seattle music scene became the focus of music critics and fans alike. Flop wasn't grunge, but instead relied on great pop hooks, good humor and energetic playing. Every track on Mopsqueezer is solid with many highlights such as the opening track, I Told ALie, Hello, Ugly Girl Lover and a Kink's cover, Big Sky. Actually every song is pure joy and it continues to be a much played record in my house. Mopsqueezer is one of the few recordings I have on all the formats; vinyl LP, CD, cassette and mp3's...and though it was released 18 years ago, it doesn't sound dated. The album was produced by Fastbacks/Young Fresh Fellow, Kurt Bloch who always leaves his fingerprints on the sound and he doesn't disappoint. At this time I was in a musical phase where I bought every album that Kurt Bloch had a part in, be it production or the bands he played in. My theory was that any project he was involved in was worth buying and I was never disappointed.
Flop only released 3 albums, but they are all worth seeking out. Rusty Willoughby's earlier (and after Flop) band, Pure Joy , also released a bunch of excellent, yet under appreciated albums and I continue to be a fan Rusty's solo efforts. His latest solo record, Cobirds Unite is a collaborative effort with Rachel Flotard (from Visqueen, another great Seattle area band). Seek it out!
1. I Told A Lie 2. Anne 3. Glue Factory 4. Tomato Paste 5. Entropy 6. Big Sky 7. Hello 8. Ugly Girl Lover 9. You Would Be Right Excerpt 10. Zeus My Master 11. Asthenia 12. Sistersmile 13. Parasite 14. Morton The Venereologist 15. Circus Freak 16. B
Sorry, I haven't posted in over a week, I didn't intend this to happen, but my life has been so busy lately. I did find time to see the band Stars, yet again (4th time!), last Friday night and I'm preparing to post it on Dime in the next day or so and then I'll have it here for mp3 download. I great show, a band definitely worth checking out live if they tour through your town.
For the past few weeks I've been trying to listen to new music and one album that has stuck with me is the debut album from NY's, Candy Hearts. This 4-piece indie band plays a catchy, poppy pop/punk that is super infectious. I instantly loved this record! It features a young singer Mariel Loveland, who has such a cute and innocent voice that is backed by a solid crunchy wall of sound, it's so good it scares me. The song, Blocking The Sunshine is my new favourite song this year with such a sweet hook and melody, it has me thinking it's still summer. If the Candy Hearts came to town I would for sure go, they sound like a lot of fun and is it me or do they sound a bit like the Weakerthans on a couple of songs? (Red Balloon, Without Caffeine). This record has me wanting more and believe it or not the band is offering up the album free on the website, If You Make It, a wonderful site featuring plenty of up and coming indie bands allowing fans sample their goods. These are bands that want their music heard, clearly not in it only for the money, but artists that are proud of their work and want it heard by as many people as possible. I've downloaded several albums from good (and no so good) bands here and it's worth checking out as you can sample tracks before committing to a full download. You also have the option of donating money to the band. By the way, the Candy Hearts have the CD for sale on their website for a mere $5. For an extra buck, you also get 2 cute buttons...what a deal!!
1. What I Want 2. Blocking The Sunshine 3. You And Me 4. Flashers Flashing 5. Hiding From My Friends 6. Why 7. Without Caffeine 8. What You Want 9. Punk Songs 10. Red Balloon 11. Anything 12. Size Of The Moon 13. Cracks Beneath Closed Doors